This is your brain on the internet
Do you remember those public service announcement commercials from the 90s that showed a picture of an egg (“this is your brain”) then an egg cracked and in a frying pan (“this is your brain on drugs”)? Many have proclaimed that the internet is scrambling our brains, and that the web has become one giant addictive drug that has prohibited brain formation.
Nicholas Carr’s new book, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains takes a different approach, addressing the web as a distraction and information tool that appeals to our survival tactics, dating back to cave men. Rather than addressing the evils of the web, Carr outlines how the web is a distraction that alters how our short term and long term memories are formed.
Epipheo created the video and says, “Most of us are on the Internet on a daily basis and whether we like it or not, the Internet is affecting us. It changes how we think, how we work, and it even changes our brains.”
Below is a brief video outline of how the web is affecting our memory skills, and it isn’t as dramatic as a cracked egg in a frying pan circa 1996.
[pl_video type=”youtube” id=”cKaWJ72x1rI”]
Advocating focus, offline skills
Carr’s notes imply that our memory skills will improve should we spend at least a little bit of time offline focusing on a singular task.
We were fascinated by this theory which supports creativity and hobbies, and to an extent, supports meditation. It is interesting to note that critics of the web miss that it takes creativity to come up with internet kitty memes and takes vision to come up with an auto-tuned mockery of the news.
Yes, the web is distracting, and studies actually support that we are evolving very quickly and our brains are actually being rewired, but Carr notes that if we just slow down for some period of time a day, we can support short term memories being committed to a series of connected long term memories.